Sometimes it is just the little things in life that tickle us. Everyday when I use our master bath room and look at the toilet paper hanger, a smile crosses my face. A tiny strange miracle that probably doesn’t seem like a miracle to any one else. You just have to understand how much I hate changing the forever-needing-changed TP that no one else in the household seems capable of doing. This holder – just lifts up and off slides the old roll and one with the new.
“For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle”~Jn 12:16
Obviously, the RATION for today kind of followed this thought as well. People look for miracles every day. During a war – people looked for them even more. As I read this little booklet from 1942, the wisdom keeps popping up and reminding me that truth never really fades. We just fail to remember.
I was listening to one of my favorite pastors this week. He was talking about a couple of the miracles that Jesus accomplished. He said, “Can you imagine what was going through the blind man’s mind when he heard this?” He proceeded to make spitting noises. Needless to say, I roared right along with the congregation.
Miracles aren’t for the faint of heart. They aren’t always quick fixes – remember – the blind man had to walk through the streets with mud – made by some strange guy’s spit – on his eyes to a pool he couldn’t see. Ewwwwuuuu Miracles aren’t just wham-bam – most of the time we have to step out in faith to claim them.
“Read: John 12:16-19
We in America possess a passionate relish for being humbugged. We like to take a chance at getting something for nothing. Multitudes listen to radio broadcasts that promise fabulous sums of money or other prizes to the person who responds quickly and with the right word to their requests. Millions of dollars are squandered every year on get-rich-quick schemes that are neither ethical nor successful.
“But we seem to have no monopoly on folly and selfishness. People in Jesus’ day were drawn to him out of curiosity and in the vain hope that he would work some miracle to gratify their ignoble desires… With little or no effort on their part, they hoped to get what they wanted by magic. Magic is an effort to get God, or the gods, to do our will. True religion is the reverse; it is the desire and the endeavor to have our defective thought and ways corrected and expanded by God’s larger eternal truth.
“The world has never needed a trickster for its king. The Eternal Christ is not to be fashioned and twisted and used to satisfy the whims or even the deep desires of mortals. But they who learn his ways and life in joyful accord with them, will experience abundant life, whatever their outward circumstances.
Prayer: Father of our spirits, we delight to behold the throngs going after Jesus, and we count ourselves blessed to be among their number. Great that our interest and theirs may be as deep as life, and not the fruit of shallow curiosity or selfish desire. We pray in his name. Amen.”
It has been a good week of firsts…first week of summer vacation (for my school)…first tick bite of the season (PTL for oregano oil and applying it abundantly)…first corn on the cob (it is beyond great)…first crazy dream of electric wires since I was a little kid.
I know – that last one probably made you say, “Huh???” Here’s the background story: when I was little, I used to dream of electric wires. Most of the time they were just over my head (in the middle of the night no less), and I would be staring at them (Hmmmm….can you really see electric wires at night) and listening to them buzz. (You’ve all heard them buzz, right?) But sometimes – it took on a nightmarish quality of wires, crackling as they touched the ground or car, encircling me completely, trapping me within the static snaps. Strange thing – I can almost still see that image as I write this. It was a dream that often sent me into Mom and Dad’s bedroom. I have no idea what any of that means or why they came so often, but the electric wires were back last night. Stretching over the skyline , criss-crossing, zig-zagging beside the road, but this time – although they were everywhere – they weren’t trapping me and it was daylight. Daylight – somehow that is important…and it is bugging me.
There are other elements of that crazy dream that are still drifting in and out of the haziness of the human mind that wants all things to be logical and reality based. That’s when I decide to take a breath. A deep, meditative breath and remember there are times you just need to have faith and be still despite everything going on around you – despite the body’s pain – despite the illness that has dogged your steps for so long – despite the silence of music – despite the deep aching of loneliness – despite the stones pulling you deeper into the well of darkness.
“Yeshua came and stood in their midst and he said to them, “Peace be with you.” He said this and he showed them his hands and his side and the disciples rejoiced because they saw Our Lord.” Jn 20:19-20
I wonder if they thought they were dreaming. I’m pretty sure they didn’t consider it logical or reality based in the least. Their rabbi was dead and now he was standing there? They had watched Him die. They feared they would be next. Needless to say, I wonder if I would have rejoiced or would I have doubted what was in front of my face? Faith the size of a mustard seed is hard to find when a fortress of fear stands in front of it. Miracles are still standing there. They are just hard to see through the density the solid stones. Miracles waiting…miracles just waiting for someone to look around the rocky walls of the fortress and feel the breath of holiness upon their face.
“But Yeshua said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as my Father has sent me, I also am sending you.” When he had said these things, he breathed upon them and he said to them, “Receive The Spirit of Holiness.” Jn 20:21-22
It has been a good week. A week of having my youngest son remind me of some of the blessings he has brought into my life. A week of hearing the excitement in the voices of those I love as they journey off into a new adventure. A week of planting new root stocks into a young garden. A week of enjoying the breath of miracles outside my fortress walls. The sabbath is almost here, so it is time to open my window, feel His breath upon my face and plant my mustard seed.
Several years ago, when I was performing in CATS with a local theatre group, Old Deuteronomy was the cat full of wisdom and grace. Most musicals have a wise person passing out wonderfully timed wisdom to those seeking help. Wisely, Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber had the sense not to change much of T.S. Eliot’s original poem, “Old Deuteronomy”:
“Old Deuteronomy lived a long time;He’s a Cat who has lived many lives in succession, He was famous in Proverb and famous in rhyme, A long time before Queen Victoria’s accession…”
Deuteronomy has never been one of those books that I spent much time studying in the past. In fact, I spent very little time in the OT. I just didn’t think it was necessary. After all, I was a child of the New Covenant. Jesus was where it was at…the narrow gate…the Way… The sad part of this history lesson is that I don’t believe that my thinking is unusual. Most of the churches I attended in my formative years (and I attended a bunch of different ones since I was usually getting paid to sing in their choirs) gave only a passing nod to the OT. Besides, they only had so many Sundays to get across all those wonderful stories that happened between Matthew and Revelations.
“Be silent, O Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the LORD your God…” Deut 27:9b
Maybe it is because I always have so many questions. Or maybe it is because I tend to rebel much more than most people would ever guess. But the last couple of years, God has set my feet on this path of understanding the Jewish portion of Jesus, and why the Old Covenant is an integral portion of our redemption. It has not been an easy journey (after all I do tend to be a little – ok – more than a little – stubborn). Reading the OT can be tedious at times and boring at best. Timelines are confusing. Names just don’t tumble off your lips. And really? All the violence and patriarchal society thing drives me nuts most of the time. Just how does God’s people do all this nastiness, and He still loves them? And then I look at me…and sigh. If my life was miraculously dropped into the Bible, I would definitely fit right in with all of God’s nasty acting people.
“Old Deuteronomy sits in the street, He sits in the High Street on Market Day. The bullocks may bellow, the sheep they may bleat, But the dogs and the herdsmen will turn them away…”
Unlike the dogs and the herdsmen, Our Father doesn’t EVER turn us away when we seek Him out. Our nastiness continues. Violence — Wars — Terror — yet — when God’s people continue to trust and put their faith in I AM, the miracles follow. GRACE. My Bible’s study guide says that the theme of Deuteronomy is “Devote yourself wholeheartedly to God”. I keep trying to remember that as I am reading it. It is a book full of Moses’ final words to God’s people. It was the end of the 40 year journey. It was the start of a new life in a new country. Finally, it is the land of “Milk and Honey”, and it was in front of them.
“Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants…’” Deut 34:4b
It is just something to think about as we watch the world unravel.
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Tagged Abraham, Book of Practical Cats, CATS, Deuteronomy, faith, grace, I AM, Isaac, Israel, Jesus, Jewish, Joseph, Matthew, Milk and Honey, miracles, Moses, musical, Old Deuteronomy, poetry, Revelations, Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber, T.S. Eliot, Torah